About

Frequently Asked Questions

What is fascism?

Fascism is a belief system that can be described by a set of traits - it doesn't have to have everything on the list, and in fact most versions in the world won't have everything on the list. We would say most versions will be Ultranationalist, Authoritarian, and Xenophobic. We can can also say for sure that the danger that fascist organizing poses is real and immediate because violence is essential to achieve their goals.

Fascism can be hard to define because every fascist movement is different, and the ideology itself contains many contradictory ideas. The term has also come to be used to label any idea that is authoritarian, right-wing, or even just disliked. This poses a problem for us because we think it is important to describe each movement accurately. To that end, we use a definition of fascism that is based on a cluster of traits. While each movement may not contain all these traits, we call it 'fascist' if it has a majority of these characteristics:

  • Ultra-nationalism, which defines the "nation" around a shared racial, ethnic, cultural, or historical identity. This excludes some members of society, and people are expected to place their allegience to the "nation" over all other identities.
  • Belief in, and a desire to return to, a past utopian vision of society. This may or may not have existed historically, and they believe it has been lost due to "corruption" or "degeneracy".
  • Scapegoating of marginalized/oppressed groups, who are blamed for causing society's problems and preventing a return to this ultra-nationalist utopia.
  • Advocating for, or enacting, the removal of these scapegoated groups, including by violence, genocide, and/or ethnic cleansing.
  • White supremacy and belief in racist, patriarchal hierarchies that place the nation over other groups, men above women, straight people over gay people, etc.
  • Authoritarianism, often centered around a single, charismatic leader.
  • Antisemitism. Antisemitism is central to many fascist ideologies, and this conspiritorial thinking about Jewish people provides the corner stone that supports many other racist ideas.
  • Anti-communist, anti-liberal, and anti-conservative rhetoric.
  • Opposition to Unions and other Organized Labor groups.
  • Aspiring to the complete militarization of society. This includes Paramilitary organizing and vigilantism.
  • Anti-elitist, populist rhetoric to appeal to the “common man,” coupled with internal elitism and willingness to accept support from existing elites.
  • Fascism posits itself as both a revolutionary and traditionalist politic.

Doesn’t silencing fascists make *you* fascists?

Failing to stop fascists from speaking - that is, giving them the opportunity to organize to impose their agenda on the rest of us - makes you as bad as them.

Shouldn’t we just ignore fascists?

Actually, fascists usually don’t want to draw attention to their organizing; they do most of it in secret, fearing (correctly) that their true goals would cause outrage. They organize public events to try to legitimize their views, and recruit. By disrupting fascists, we make it clear to them and their potential supporters that they can’t wield the power they glorify. Ignoring fascists only allows them to organize unhindered.

Don’t white supremacists and fascists have rights ?

No one has the right to threaten our community with violence. We reject the “right” of the government and police to decide for us when fascists have crossed the line from merely expressing themselves into posing an immediate threat.

Won’t opposing fascists backfire by generating interest?

Resistance to fascism doesn’t increase interest in fascist views. If anything, mobilizing to defend fascists on free speech grounds increases interest in their views by conferring legitimacy on them. By tolerating racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia, so-called free speech advocates are complicit in the acts of terror that fascist organizing makes possible.

Isn't the best way to defeat fascism by letting everyone see how ignorant they are?

People don’t become fascists simply because they’re persuaded by their ideas. Fascism claims to offer power to those who feel threatened by shifting social and economic realities. The fact that their analysis of these shifts are ignorant misses the point. Historically, fascists haven’t gained strength through rational argument, but through organizing to wield power. We can’t just argue against them - we have to prevent them from organizing. Only popular self-defense, not simply debate, has succeeded in stopping fascism.

What is black bloc/why do you wear all black?

Black bloc is a tactic where large groups of people wear all black to conceal their features. This helps us stay anonymous and demonstrate group solidarity. You can read more about black bloc here: https://crimethinc.com/2003/11/20/blocs-black-and-otherwise

Why do you stay anonymous?

Antifascists that do antifascist work regularly are likely to be targeted by both the far-right and the state. Taking measures like wearing masks provides anonymity that helps us stay safe.

Also, it’s very easy for movements to be reduced to the actions of a single individual. By staying anonymous, we act as a collective, and represent that we are acting in unity and uninterested in gaining social capital from our work as antifascists.

Is the work you do dangerous?

Sometimes!

How can I get involved/support you?

We appreciate and value our community and couldn't do this without your support. You can send us tips if you see anything, share our social media posts and articles, attend events and rallies, and participate in call-in campaigns. We are a group closed to members only, but if you are interested in joining please send us an email with a little bit of information about you and what makes you interested in joining.

What should I do if I see something/know of someone I think you should be aware of?

Please let us know! If you're not sure if you should send us a tip, please do! You can get in touch with us a number of ways - Facebook message, calling and leaving a voicemail, DM'ing on Twitter - but the absolute best way is to send us an email.

What kind of information should I send?

Our best tips include as much of the following as possible:

  • A picture if you have one (please be safe!)
  • The date and time the subject matter was seen
  • Exact location if possible (address, cross streets, and/or nearby landmarks)
  • If reporting a car: color, type of car, make, model, license plate number, notable features like bumper stickers, etc.
  • Physical descriptions of persons involved, if relevant (height, build, hair/eye/skin color, hair length, tattoos/piercings/notable physical features, clothing, etc.)
  • Any other information you think might be useful!

I’m writing a report for my school, would you be open to working with me on it? How can I get in touch?

Thank you for contacting us. We will attempt to respond to your request with whether or not we can accommodate it within the next week. Due to time constraints, we are unable to accommodate every interview request. If you haven't already, please tell us more about your project and send along examples of your recent work.